"Saw a large triangular craft and other small round craft in the sky. Likely not of this earth."

"It was perfectly still, hovering right over a highway."

"White ball of light flying very fast then disappeared."

If there's life beyond this world, they must love the Garden State.

More than 120 sightings of unidentified flying objects were reported in 2016 throughout New Jersey, according to the National UFO Reporting Center. In 2017, there's been more reported UFO sightings than there have been weeks.

Many of them cite quick bursts of light, or "orbs" of different colors and sizes that lingered just long enough to be captured in a photo. But others specifically point to physical aircraft that look unlike anything they've seen before.

"When I was in the Air Force, we chased them regularly," Medford resident George Filer, New Jersey State Director of the Mutual UFO Network, told Townsquare Media. "A lot of us in the military or intelligence agencies chased or saw UFOs and believe in their existence."

According to Filer, most citizen reports are submitted during the warmer months when people are more likely to be outside. He said in the summer, an estimated 1,000 UFO sightings are reported per month nationally.

As director of Fringe New Jersey, which prides itself on examining "the strange & the unusual, the paranormal, and the impossible," chemist Sean Wasylyk has no doubt in the existence of unidentified aerial phenomena.

He claims an overwhelming majority of UFO sightings are likely to amount to nothing, due to New Jersey's extensive military presence and number of airports. But it's the other 5 percent or so of reports that keeps him curious.

"I'd love to say none of these are real, but I think some of them have some legitimacy. I think there's something real there," said Wasylyk, a Hamilton resident. "It enriches lives knowing that there's something we don't know. Let's figure it out."

UFOs, though, don't necessarily have to link to life on another planet, he said. Perhaps people are seeing the experimentation of secret military aircraft. Or some genius somewhere is showing off their private technology that no one yet knows about.

"If you're an alien culture and you're that advanced that you've gotten inter-dimensional or inter-planetary space travel, and you don't want to be seen, you're not going to be seen," he added.

Both of Wasylyk's parents were scientists; he was raised to believe anything unless science proved it wrong.

As of Friday afternoon, the National UFO Reporting Center listed six reports out of New Jersey in 2017. The most recent, out of Cinnaminson, cited a "chevron-shaped UFO hovering over trees."

In all, the database lists 2,047 UFO sightings in New Jersey.

 

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